How to help a beginner

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sara1459
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How to help a beginner

Postby sara1459 » Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:19 pm

I have started training - such excellent fun and I am getting very excited about going on to the battle field holding a spear. Need to work on my crappy arms.

Okay I am not trying to cause any contraversy and not stiring up any tensions however

1) What is the most basic equipment I can take on the battle field in terms of personal protection ?

2) Is there any advice you can give someone to prevent them from hurting (God forbid) or getting hurt

And now the bad bit which will get me into trouble

3) DO YOU HOLD THE BILL UNDER OR OVER HAND ?



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Postby Dave B » Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:52 pm

I would have said that you would have been better in another area 'forum help advice and support' is for help about using the forum, but never mind.

1. IMHO: a heavyish jack, helmet, and some sort of padded gloves or gauntlets.

2. Train. I reccomend the EMA training event if you can get a place, talk nicely to Dickie, Carl (sir geoffery) or Fox. If you are going to fight with a bill you need to train bill on bill and against swords.

3. There are no right or wrong answers here. some groups get good results with under. However for the pretty heavy use of bills in WOTR era combat most people find that both hands over gives more security against knocking up, and that makes it better for them even if front hand under has some manouverabilility advantages.


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Postby Skevmeister » Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:57 am

Sara, moving this to general history for you. So that you can get the advice of teh more learned of our forum members

Skev


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Postby Chris, yclept John Barber » Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:40 am

Most battles set the minimum protective gear for combatants as helm and gauntlets, some add a good padded jack. Our society certainly wouldn't let anyone go into combat on an 'open event' battlefield without all three, plus a 'box' in the case of male members*. (Mind you, we don't do a check to see that everyone's wearing one of those!)

After that, I'd suggest leg armour. Arm armour gets incredibly tiring in a good long battle - I wear mine for minor skirmishes and our own shows, but for a bash like Tewkesbury I leave it off. If you have a good jack, you can take a hit with no trouble: the tinware's just for pose value really!

The important thing is to train regularly. I'm primarily a swordsman, using either or both hands, so my arms are fairly fit. But last week I trained with a bill for the first time since September - and I remembered just how heavy those beasts are! It's the leverage. So from now on till the season I'm going to have to play with them more often to try and get fighting fit with them too.

Spear is easier, because there's less weight in the fighting end, but you will be expected to move them around a lot more quickly than the bills can shift. I find that spear-work takes more puff (sorry: cardio-vascular fitness!) than bills, but the arms last longer.

As for over or under? I do both, and advise our trainees to do the same. I start with over: as Dave B says, it's safer because the weapon is less likely to be knocked up into your opponent's face. But it's more tiring, because the weight is supported by your fingers rather than the palm. After a while, the hand becomes tired and it is safer to switch to under: sideways impacts can smash the bill out of tired fingers, which becomes less likely when the palm is supporting and the fingers just restraining it sideways.

The important principle to remember is to always keep the head of the weapon lower than the butt. Any weapon pointed upwards is vulnerable to being knocked upwards into faces, but a down-sloping weapon is more secure. Also, if your foot slips, the point goes in the direction the shaft is inclined. You want it to go down.

And finally - have fun! And I'll look forward to crossing shafts with you on the battlefield.

*: Our cross-dressing expert tells me that although a box isn't necessary for women, having one, or a well-padded codpiece, helps to achieve the 'man-walk' so you'll look less girly.


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Postby Quayn » Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:15 am

Seems everything is covered though I would stretch to including steal gauntlet for the leading hand, esp. for a beginner, one knock can often put you off for life.

I've very weak arms and tend to do a lot of stamina work before the season starts, mainly just practice with whatever weapon you'll be using, whether with someone else or simple thrusting exercise. Most beginners (and me :cry: ) tend to get halfway through a battle and no longer keep their pole up. thrusting practice against a fixed target of some sort can also help in judging distance so when on field your thrusts are more of a poke than an attempt to run the enemy through.

Good luck and have fun.
Q.



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Postby Fillionous » Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:39 am

Answers may vary from group to group / battle to battle
For the Group I am part of the following would be the answers...

1. A minimum of good metal head protection and hand protection (for bill / spear folks this is usually taken to be mitten type gauntlets) and adiquate body protection (usually taken as a sturdy jack) Many add leg armour, a (hidden) box (or they hang a buckler in 'that' place) and a bevoir as additional protection. Most will also carry some kind of battlefield safe dagger to look more like the part (some ofcause have the compantancies to draw and fight with it... known as 'billman's surprise').

2. Practice, practice, practice. Train on your own to get used to the weight of your weapon / armour, train with your group so that you get used to working with your household and know you own socities rules / methods and train with experianced Billfolk so that they can improve your techniques. After that it is a case of comman sence... keep within the rules, keep the bill slanted down to reduce the chance of it slipping up and catching someone high / head, don't fight if you are over tierd, dehydrated, under the influence (and remember heavy nights before can affect the morning skermish), pull your blows etc... as I say comman sence.

3. This is very much down to the training and allowed rules of the group/s you are part of... both can produce good safe billmen... So I would say listen to your coach / group and go from there. But stick to the style that you are more comftable / safest with on the field at least untill you are confident you can control your weapon / have recived training in any other style.

And remember after all the hard work... it is ment to be (and usually is) FUN.
So have Fun
See you on the field

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Postby craig1459 » Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:00 am

You could always ask me!

Everything covered above

1. Train train train train. We have good teachers in the group - listen to them. Use the pole in the back garden and if all else fails fight me :D

2. Lid, jack, gauntlets. Plus I always wear my bevor on the field to protect my throat. It also protects the face in the event of wayward upward shots.
A barbute gives good facial protection but I'm still dubious as its aptness for English battles. Mr Askins can point you in the right direction on Friday.

3. I use both. Over is safer if you have less experience. But I can and do switch to using underhand as it gives me more maneoverability and is a better attacking position. It depends on how the scrap is going. But it requires more skill to be as safe as over. Stick to overhand for now

4. I'd also stick to spear for now - you've got good upper body strength which is a plus for a heavier pole like a bill but get used to the spear first


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Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:32 pm

Always remember that you should never take anything onto the battlefield, up to and including yourself, that you are not prepared to have broken! :twisted:

Also remember that a good training session should be much harder than a battle on the field.

Oh, get a good book on cloud recognition as you will no doubt spend a lot of time lying on the ground looking at the sky! :D

Last, but not least, HAVE FUN!


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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:13 pm

I'm going to get mittens this season as I seemed to spend a lot of time nursing stinging fingers last year. I'd also say that you're too pretty for mashed in teeth and facial scars so a bevor is a good idea as well. Why not try a galive rather than a bill, a halbred or a spear. Glaives will be this years bill, i'm telling you. Better than that though. Cannon. Cannons are the future of warfare.


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Postby Skevmeister » Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:42 am

Sara if you speak nicely to your freindly neighbour hood armourer, he might be able to put you together some nice thick steel mittens just your size? that can protect your hands if you insist on waving that pointy stick.

But to iterate the EMA and MS have good guildines on kit standards for battles and alot of variants of these are used by other teams.

You will need a lid.

Churburg does have simnple sallets for its footmen so you could have something like that or a Chapel Le Fer (kettle helm) and a gorget or bevor for your throat.
Good strong Jack and if you dont want to wear alot of chain can I suggest that you spend a lot of money on getting a good one, as it will take a lot of the punishment and protect you from bruises and also help hide your lady bits ( you should talk to Debs or Tuppence on here who I would recommend as the comemnst they get about there works is second to none and both lovely and helpful people)

I would have Mittens for predominatly pole work, I prefer fingered gauntlets but I was a climber so my fingers are used to being beaten and I can type one handed so I could still work :D, but they will disspate the spread teh force and you will be able to line the inside with fleece or linen stuffed with wool.

But as my Lord Orsheim states,
Do not take anything on the field that you don't want breaking, and that does include yourself (after all it is a contact hobby).
Have Fun.
Train, the more training you do the more confident you feel, the more confident you feel the safer you are as you don't panic when the unexpected happens.
Have Fun
Acknowledge you hits and don't worry when the others don't acknowledge your's just know that your doing it right.
Have Fun
And more importantly just incase you didn't get it have fun, the ability to talk about the good scraps you had and and the dodgy hits and how you nearly got a bill in your goolies or how you got a rubber in your goolies is good fodder for the beer tent (OK I know you dont have goolies, but youu get the idea)


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Postby Cat » Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:24 pm

Decent body and head/hand protection, minimum of very heavily padded jack for body, but if there is no metal in/with/on it don't wear a livery coat on field as many fighters (rightly or wrongly) assume that there is metal under a livery.

The order I went in, influenced by experience of OW!:
Gauntlets (the most expensive you can afford)
Helmet (one you can see out of!)
Bevor
Thick jack (still worn)
maille 'hauberk'(too heavy on shoulders so ditched after 3 yrs)
breastplate(rubbed so ditched)
Plate arms (best thing bought so far)
brig (heavy but brilliant)
Thickish long boots.
Plate legs(didn't get on with, too heavy on hips, made me walk funny-ditched).

Considering knee cops, but new thicker leather boots may render these unnecessary.

Overhand is much safer, most of us can demonstrate why if asked. Practise, even just in the garden, and go to the gym to build up cardio and strength pre-season.

Spear or pole is less scary, swords is more in close and personal and fun.
Then again watch Sapper of Tudors with a pole, and tell me that he's not having fun!


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Postby Dave B » Wed Feb 14, 2007 11:44 pm

Cat wrote:Plate arms (best thing bought so far)


be very carefull of plate arms using a pole weapon. there is something about the geometry of the situation that means that as you attack the plate on your forearm forms a perfect angle to divert yourt opponents attack. Up your left nostril. I tried it a coupe of times, never again.

A sturdy jack, and a breastplate if you will (also helps to hide girlyshaped bits) but carefull about plate arms.


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Postby craig1459 » Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:01 am

Armour was designed to deflect as well as provide a barrier so that sounds about right. Jack chains are an intermediate call.

I'm going clanky in the second half of the season so we shall see :D

From Sara's POV it's a bit early to be thinking about plate beyond the basics. A Padded Armour Company jack is on MY shopping list for next season :D


die Behmen hinder iren bafosen ... stunden vest wie die mauren

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Postby Nigel » Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:19 pm

craig1459 wrote:From Sara's POV it's a bit early to be thinking about plate beyond the basics. A Padded Armour Company jack is on MY shopping list for next season :D


Glad to hear it


nott knowing what size sarah is we may be able to help jer out of stock :D at a nice price too :D


But for my 10p's woth Conquest no gloves padding or lidd no fight abd train lots travle to other training sessions and train there

expect to get dinted

oh and enjoy yourself


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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:36 am

If you and I are at an event Sara I would be happy for you to try on for size and borrow my kit. If you get killed in my place it makes no difference to me.


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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:25 pm

If you want to field test my mittens and partizan after Craig picks it up sara, feel free.


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Postby WorkMonkey » Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:49 pm

*cough splutter* A woman? On the battlefield?
what what WHAT!

You Fox Bummers must play far too rough to need all this armour :?
Last edited by WorkMonkey on Fri Mar 02, 2007 7:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Postby Lord Byron » Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:00 pm

WorkMonkey wrote:*cough splutter* A woman? On the battlefield?
what what WHAT!


It's not WorkMonkey, it's Neddie Seagoon in disguise! :twisted:



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Postby Cat » Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:42 pm

No you silly fellow, it's Blune-bottell.
"You have deaded me, you dirty rotten swine. Nyeh!"


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Postby Lord Byron » Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:53 am

Cat wrote:No you silly fellow, it's Blune-bottell.
"You have deaded me, you dirty rotten swine. Nyeh!"


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Postby nix » Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:37 pm

have some one to look after you, any season`d member of your gruop, just to make sure you dont get frone in to far, and i no a lot of groups get fighters to go on battle feild as a non com for first battle(banner baerer or water carrier) so you can see how it works up close befor take big plung.

but practice is most inportant, fight every one in your gruop first with every combination of weapon they have so if and when yopu meat people on the feild ods on youve fort the weapon type befor and no how to stay safe.

plus speach to the comander of your group at the battle, find out whos oppisite you in the field, go say hello, join in if there having a quick train, explain your new to feild and share a drink( there more inclined to remember you and have a bit of a slower fight just to get you into things, rather than just batteribg you and working away.)

but most of allo take it slow.


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Postby Cat » Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:06 pm

At one practice we go to one of the games is to take bizarre combinations of weapons and assign them a random number, then assign a random number to everybody in the group separately, match peeps with weapons and get them to fight each other-so you may get nice zweihander versus two parrying daggers, or glaive versus single handed celty spear and buckler-ok, not a combo you'd use on the field but damn good for making you think on your feet.

That's how I found out how good I am with a single handed spear, got to practice with a newbie southpaw at a different group's practice, (several years ago)got all cocky, didn't wear glubs (my fault entirely) and got a blunt spear through my hand. OW! (Point i am making by this is ALWAYS wear all your protection so you don't get into Trubble. And don't get cocky! And if doctor at A and E finds'Roman stuck a spear into her hand in a fight' you get seen quite quickly, unless it's a Tewkers weekend in which case the triage nurse gets very shirty :D )


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Postby Zachos » Sun Mar 11, 2007 2:19 pm

A suggestion I haven't seen mentioned, but one I always tell people first when using a polearm: Never cup your following hand over the end of the pole, hold it with the palm facing downwards. This is because if someone falls onto your spiky end, you want to be able to slide your hand down the pole, so your buddy doesn't get a bill through their sternum.

If this doesn't make sense, I'm sure someone could explain it better than me. Its something important that comes naturally once you know, and so is easy to forget telling people.


Hmm, I was just about to suggest not wearing a shirt under your jack, but that may not be quite as good an idea for you as for me.

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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Sun Mar 11, 2007 9:18 pm

For sure if she does it'll be an unfair advatage as I wouldnae be able to concentrate upon me swing.


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Postby sara1459 » Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:01 pm

Cheers Guys - lots of excellent advice. I have been training for about two months and I am okayish to go on the battlefield with a spear. Did a swapsie on a barbutie ? for some kitmaking.

Marcus - I think we will be seeing you in May with the Black Maunche.

Any recommendations on suppliers of spear heads?

(I will wear a shirt as nipple chaffing is extremely uncomfortable)



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Postby 'Banastre' » Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:34 pm

Some martial arts stances I've seen to be useful to keep your balance.
-scuttles off-


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Postby kael » Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:36 pm

Just to agree, padded gloves are a must. Nice thick padding on the back of your hand and knuckles, but little enough so you can bend your fingers (obviously). It's a good idea to have thicker padding on the thumb though.

VME only require that you have padded gloves; 98% of the injuries caused in the last 5 years have been on the hand according to our accident book, but it is always a good idea, especially where there is more than one group present to protect yourself further, with body armour (especially useful for ladies I've been told) and a helm is helpful, though -touch wood- I have never been hit in the head in an EMA battle (only time against another group was at a conquest event in Middlewhich the other year, and that was a crossbow bolt through a shoddy shield wall!)


On spear fighting, technique varies depending on the fight. In a line fight situation, where there is little room to move, and moving back breaks the line, you need a solid base, angling the spear with point down - you get a big bit of pole to block with, only moving a little bit left and right to ward off attacks, and you can bring it up for attacking legs and torso quickly.

One on one, a springier approach is better, with a wide stance, knees bent, almost facing your opponent directly with spear outstretched in front of you. You have two ends if people try to close you down, or because of the stance, you should be able to retreat quickly, in any direction.

Try not to bring the spear point up in a pendulum motion - if you go for high shots, raise your arms and bring the spear down - less likely for people to get skewered if they stumble or fall over, and less likely to defect into your opponents face.

(all the above assumes you are using the spear with a 'paddle grip' though it is probably the same otherwise. there are several grips, some useful for defence-counter, and some purely attacking Q-staff style, and of cause moving a grip to the centre of the pole can give you options - depends on the group, and how much you practice!)
Last edited by kael on Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Postby craig1459 » Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:39 pm

I think EMA rules are no headshots unless agreed - and we're a no headshot group anyway, although we do them in training

Only been headshotted once, well twice by the same guy in succession. Right next to the marshall :roll:


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Postby kael » Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:44 pm

Rofl.



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Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:49 pm

Any recommendations on suppliers of spear heads?


Get dressed for battle do some nice cheapies. Go for at least the medium or, better still, the long one as short spear heads look more like blobs on sticks from a distance.

Best bit of advice for fighting with any pole weapon in open melee, be able to run backwards faster than your opponents can run forwards!


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